Soundcore Life Q20 "Review"

Disclaimer: I have received these headphones for free in “we love testing” program but that will not hold me from giving my honest comments. Anker needs to listen to critical reviews.

I received the Soundcore LIfe Q20 today morning and have been using them all day today.
Bad news first… I do not like them for the sound :sob: and I do not like that no hard case is included :cold_face:
Comfort wise they are top notch
It is logical for me to compare it with other Soundcore headphones that I have (Vortex, Space NC and Life 2) but lets see the unboxing first…

Box is typical Anker (blue/white). Inside there are the actual headphones, a microusb charging cable, an audio cable, user manual, happy/not happy card AND a TRAVEL POUCH :hot_face:

Headphones Fit and Feel: It fits very well. No issues there… Very comfortable.

Sound Quality and Noise Cancellation:

This is where I’m not sold out…I cannot tell any difference between these and Life 2/Space NC. I would put Space NC, Life 2 and Life Q20 as having very similar sound signature. Vortex is a different beast…
Don’t get me wrong. All these headphones produce excellent quality sound and you will be happy with either. Vortex is the only one that has aptX codec and that does make a difference.
Vortex is the least comfortable of these 4 but has the best sound :+1:

Noise cancellation is just OK. Nothing spectacular. Soundcore has a long long way to go before these can be truly a Bose or Sony competition. For the price these are excellent!!!
One area of improvement is that now the press of NC/Bass Up button is announced by headphone assistant and I like that.
Bass Up is something that I personally don’t like very much. Vortex even with no Bass Up beats sound quality of Life 2 and Life Q20.

Soft Case (Pouch): I don’t get it? this is a step back from earlier offerings. Vortex, Space NC and Life 2 all had great quality hard cases. What happened this time around? Soft case is like no case :-1:

Accessories: Micro usb charging cable is standard Anker offering. Audio cable is 3.5mm to 3.5mm (90 degree bent on one end). About 4’ long but this time it lacks in-line remote/microphone.

Overall, this is a very good quality headphone (very comfortable) with some cool and exciting features. If you don’t already own a Soundcore headphone then this is a great buy but if you already have Space NC or Life 2 then there is no point getting this.

Below is comparison between Space NC, Vortex and Q20 (Life 2 is almost same as Q20).

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I discovered a secret feature that makes the sound waaaaay better.!

Bassup is toggleable. While they’re on, double tap the play/pause button. This toggles bassup.

Mine came with bassup on, and they sounded terrible. The bass was really “shaky” and the whole sound was unbalanced. It was really bad.

When I flipped it back on it became much better. Still not perfect, but way better.

I agree that not having a hard case is annoying. It was one of the first things I noticed when I opened it.

I also agree that they are really comfortable. That too is on of the first things I noticed…

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Nice details! Thanks for sharing an honest review @kumar.sachin :clap:

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First rate review as usual @kumar.sachin!

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Thanks for the detailed look. I still am not sure I want noise cancelling most of the time.

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I agree 100% with you. NC is something you don’t need all the time. Only if you travel a lot…
Among all Anker offerings, I find that neckband style Life NC (aka Journey U) has the best ANC implementation.

Check out my review

NC is also really nice for landscaping. You see, with other earbuds and headsets without NC I can’t really listen to spoken audio (audiobooks, podcast etc.) over a blower or mower, because I can’t hear it clearly.

With NC I can quite easily listen to audiobooks which is really nice. That’s why I pretty much only use my Q20s for landscaping, instead of my spirit X or beats (Not to mention the beats aren’t very good)

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That is true. NC is very useful around noisy environment (travel is just an example).
But if you really want to enjoy quality music without artificial coloring to the sound then ANC is not the way to go.
Passive NC is ok (like Shure iem’s)

Passive noise cancelling isn’t enough to be able to listen to audiobooks. I’ve used headsets specifically designed for landscaping, and for blocking out as much noise as possible. They really don’t block out As much as ANC.

Also the fact that ANC doesn’t block out voices is nice because I can still hear my coworkers…

Question for all… Is the Life Q20 noise canceling pretty decent? My youngest has issue with some sounds due to his Asperger’s and at times he is getting more aggravated by some noise that he had adjusted to previously. So been thinking that the NC headsets and want to gather some info before I go buy some. Or is the Space NC a little better.

In my opinion Q20 and Space NC has similar NC performance. I suggest giving Q20 a try since it is newer with BT 5.0 version and all the bell and whistles.
Also Space NC has touch controls which are difficult to operate.

I also agree with you on the bag as well. Headphones needs to be a harder case than the bag.

That was a great and Honest review @kumar.sachin :+1: I like it.
Thanks for sharing

@kumar.sachin
Great job on the unbiased review! :+1:

Thanks for the review and sharing your opinions. I was afraid they were going to be like Life 2. I have those but don’t like them. They don’t fit on my head and the sound quality isn’t all that good. At some point I’ll get around to reviewing them.

Why not a travel case. For me that’s a deal breaker. If I can’t store them away in case while not using them I can’t put them in my gym bag or overnight bag without the worry of them breaking.

You know that I love the audio cable having to be plugged into headphones and device. You do not have to worry about having to fix them due to a worn cord and can just replace it. I am glad most higher end headphones do use this feature.

@kumar.sachin How is the microphone/call quality of Vortex/q20/Life 2? Is the q20 better? Is it able to cancel the background noise from keyboard/mouse or from other people taking around 3 meter away?

Vortex/Life 2 microphone call quality is top notch. I have absolutely no complaints.
Q20 is also good but somehow I didn’t like the sound quality of it (during music reproduction).
I guess with any anker offering you should be good about call quality. They all have good quality microphones.

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Thanks, I ordered q20 (55$) and a Jabra 85h (190$ - was a good deal and I have 30 days money back so I could not resist) I am curious to see the difference :).

The Jabra 85h goes back. The main reason is that is chaotic on windows, sometimes works sometimes not, after a wile you will get used with it and after pressing mute button a few times change the input/output in windows it will work. I wrote to their support and they responded that they do not support windows. Unfortunately there is no place where they say that, you only find out after you ask their support.

I listen a lot of music, different genres and I could not tell any difference between 85h and q20 with anc on. q20 without anc sound has a little more bass, on some music it is nice in others it is ok. 85H has an equalizer on android and mac you can change a little bit how they sound but I could not say that there is a big difference. Call quality including noise suppression was very similar. ANC and passive isolation was a little bit better on h85. For me anc does not make a big difference in the end I can here the voices around me but they are more soft. The only think that I missed on q20 was the possibility to pair 2 devices.

I noticed a small sound delay on youtube but only in windows for q20.

I notice that on low volumes 30-60% q20 bass (with anc off or on without bass bust) is becoming annoying (at least for me) for long listening. At higher volumes it sounds similar but on lower volumes the sound of 85H is not annoying and you can listen for long periods.